Ashley Álvarez - Class of 2020

Scholar Name: Ashley Álvarez
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Member School: Phillips Academy
College/University: Harvard University
Major: Sociology with a minor in Educational Studies

How did A Better Chance prepare you for your Member School experience?
Without ABC, I would not have applied to my Member School, Phillips Academy (PA), a boarding school in Massachusetts. ABC prepared me for its rigorous application process, teaching me skills that I would later use when applying to colleges.  

What is the most important lesson you learned in high school? 
I learned the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support, challenge, and love you. From mentors and teachers to friends and family, the people closest to you are essential to your success. 

Why did you decide to attend your specific college/university? 
Growing up as a first-generation urban student, Harvard was often portrayed as the ultimate key to a better future for myself, my family, and my community. Despite facing countless personal and academic challenges, I applied early action to Harvard not only as a testament to all my hard work, but in honor of everyone who supported me along the way. Committing to Harvard was a difficult decision, but I am happy I made it.

How does it align with your future goals and passions? 
I am from South Central LA and, just as I love my immediate family and wish to give them a better life, I love my community and wish to see justice granted to them. I am passionate about ensuring that equal educational opportunities reach my community, as well as all disadvantaged students in LA. Attending Harvard will prepare me for a career in education reform, thereby preparing me for a life dedicated to my family, friends, and community. 

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